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Archive for Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Donor supports KU hall’s longevity

New campus housing facility’s upkeep fund called unprecedented

September 4, 2007

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It took a $4 million donation to build Kansas University's 12th scholarship hall, but a $400,000 donation will keep it from falling into disrepair.

The university in January announced that former state legislator and KU alumnus Carl C. Krehbiel had given $4 million to build the school's 12th scholarship hall. Later this month, the university will announce that Krehbiel has agreed to donate an additional $400,000 to try to keep the building from going on a future deferred-maintenance list.

"When we get the money for a new building, we also should be asking for money to maintain them," said KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway. "Krehbiel Scholarship Hall will have that."

Campus leaders, both those in Strong Hall and at the KU Endowment Association, which oversees construction of virtually all new buildings and will manage the gifts, believe this is the first time a new building will open with a special donor-generated fund dedicated to maintenance.

Although the endowment association builds the buildings, they are turned over to the state when they open, with the understanding that the state will pay to maintain them. As they dealt with the problem of deferred maintenance, Kansas legislators earlier this year suggested that buildings built by donors should not have maintenance solely funded by the state.

There is, though, a bit of history among the scholarship halls for donors to provide the funds not only for the buildings but also operations. The Miller and Watkins scholarship halls rely on endowments left behind by Elizabeth Miller Watkins to defray some living expenses.

That endowment keeps rates at those two halls lower than the rest of the scholarship halls.

Krehbiel, the donor, lived in KU's scholarship hall community when he was going to school at KU in the late1960s. In addition to his time in Stephenson Hall, his father, Floyd Krehbiel, lived in Battenfeld Scholarship Hall.

Krehbiel said the new scholarship hall would honor his father and mother, Kathryn Krehbiel, both KU graduates.

The new hall, which will house about 50 men, will be paired with Rieger Scholarship Hall, home to about 50 women. Krehbiel Hall will join Rieger in the 1300 block of Ohio Street.

"This year, we'll work with our existing residents to form a colonizing group. They'll start the traditions at Krehbiel," said Diana Robertson, director of student housing. "They're really a KU gem. I've never found anything similar."

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